Making the most of a family holiday

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Making the most of a family holiday

Time away with the family is precious and when it’s that one part of year when we have a chance to kick off our shoes and leave the routine of work and school behind, we want to make the most of our annual holiday.

Whether it’s a fortnight in the sun with visits to the beach, a pool-based holiday, one with visits to the water park or camping, there’s lots we can do to make sure we make the most of our holiday and come home with happy memories.
Here are our top tips:

Book early
If you’ve taken the decision to go abroad and know when and where you want to go well in advance, book as soon as you can. This way you’ll avoid disappointment, get the resort and accommodation of your choice and give yourself time to pay. In other words, starting doing your research for next year’s holiday now, get booked up and have something to look forward to.

Go with other families
Some families swear by holidaying together because it means the kids always have company and keeping them entertained doesn’t become a 24/7 job. If this is your plan why not consider booking a villa with its own pool? Facilities will generally include a good kitchen and outdoor eating/BBQ area, washing machine and all the other mod cons you have at home. Self-catering is more enjoyable when you’ve someone to share the chores with.

Flying with kids
It’s always a good idea to get the young ones involved in packing. There are some great kids’ backpacks around nowadays which are perfect for travelling. Make sure you have plenty of games and books to keep them entertained on the flight – and at your destination – and carry a supply of wipes for sticky hands and some clean clothes for any little emergencies. Take plenty of snacks and get checked in nice and early – and do make sure you know exactly what your luggage/pushchair allowance is before arriving at the airport!

Be organised
Make sure passports are valid before you travel. It might seem like the obvious thing to but busy parents might forget to check and overlook this most basic piece of admin. Get your money sorted out well in advance too. If anyone takes regular medication you must ensure you have plenty to last while you’re away, and it’s always a good idea to take a first-aid kit with you to cover minor cuts, scratches and bites.

New experiences
Family holidays are all about spending time together and experiencing new things. How about camping if you’ve never done it before? Countries like France do camping really well and facilities at campsites there are generally excellent. If you’re having a beach or pool holiday in Spain or Portugal, for example, check out interesting places to visit near your hotel/resort before you go. Visit a castle, go snorkelling, explore a nature reserve – you’ll be amazed at the diversity of the activities available, even at resorts where you might think all there is to do is go to the beach.

Local culture
Try to encourage the kids to learn a few words of the language in the country you’re visiting. Even if it’s just “please”, “thank you” and “hello”, they’ll enjoy using their new skills. Similarly, encourage them to experience some local cuisine. This doesn’t mean forcing them to eat snails in France – instead, try to make it fun for all the family.

Switch off
By all means take some devices with you but be strict when it comes to screen time on holiday – and that includes mum and dad! Instead, play games and make up fun quizzes based on what you’ve done that day, get the kids to write down what their favourite part of the day has been. Play cards, read books, go for a walk – holidays are all about breaking away from your usual routine.